2 minute read 5 Jun 2017
Team examining digital data display

Future proofing corporate governance: Reflections and questions for the board

Authors
Ken Williamson

EY UK&I Professional Practice Partner and Partner in Corporate Governance

Passionate about governance and audit which are critical to trust in business and a renewed focus on social purpose. Wine and exercise enthusiast - a perfect combination.

Mala Shah-Coulon

EY UK Corporate Governance, Associate Partner

Passionate about governance – a vital ingredient to running a successful enterprise and not a compliance imperative. Mum of twins and trustee at Bliss.

2 minute read 5 Jun 2017

Public debate is increasingly asking for businesses to rebuild trust and renew their social licence to operate.

This report is based on a series of roundtables held with FTSE 350 company secretaries to discuss first hand how their boards are responding to the accelerated pace of change in the world and business environment, driven by technology, globalisation and public opinion.

Our discussions spanned four themes:

  • Impact of disruption on business models
  • Challenging traditional governance processes and structure
  • Licence to operate amidst growing inequality
  • Accountability in the shareholding chain

We gained fresh perspectives and ideas from the roundtables which boards can use to explore whether their governance processes and structures need to evolve to meet these new challenges.

The majority of attendees said their companies – and boards – were alive to the shifts occurring, with some taking active steps to understand, skill up and get ahead. Others were yet to completely grasp the pace of change or consider the potential impacts on their business, business model and governance over the longer term.

Getting practical

  • To help provoke debate and discussion in boardrooms, we have posed key questions under each theme. The executive summary, which can be downloaded separately summarises these.
  • We have also included some case studies to highlight examples mentioned by attendees or that we have become aware of from our wider work.

The majority of attendees said their companies – and boards – were alive to the shifts occurring, with some taking active steps to understand, skill up and get ahead. Others were yet to completely grasp the pace of change or consider the potential impacts on their business, business model and governance over the longer term.

Summary

Our roundtables with FTSE 350 company secretaries discussed first hand how their boards are responding to accelerated change in the world and business environment, driven by technology, globalisation and public opinion.

About this article

Authors
Ken Williamson

EY UK&I Professional Practice Partner and Partner in Corporate Governance

Passionate about governance and audit which are critical to trust in business and a renewed focus on social purpose. Wine and exercise enthusiast - a perfect combination.

Mala Shah-Coulon

EY UK Corporate Governance, Associate Partner

Passionate about governance – a vital ingredient to running a successful enterprise and not a compliance imperative. Mum of twins and trustee at Bliss.